How to Make Your own Plasma Cutter.... (Plasma Cutter Kits Coming Soon!!)

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This Ebook is designed for Guys and Gals who like to create tools and machinery.

I hope my Ebook gives you hope that no matter how hard a project may seem, keep plugging away until you finish and you will succeed.

I spent 3 years putting this together and now finally all my hard work and research has paid off.

I studied diagrams from commercial venders, but to no luck. They tend to leave a lot out – on purpose - so it’s hard to reproduce their design. I’ve see different attempts at people making their own on You Tube and other sites, but what a death trap. Messy water resistors and wiring like a darn Christmas tree.

So I began reading books and articles on their workings and took my home schooled-knowledge of electronics to build my own plasma cutter. I was determined; failure was not an option.

I started by collecting parts from old microwaves, stoves, water heaters, air conditioners, car parts and more in the hopes of creating a low budget way to create a plasma cutter for myself. I mounted it all on a simple piece of scrap wood; well it’s scrap wood now. We, didn’t need that table anyway (shhhhhhh don’t tell the wife).

Then one day it all came together. I hit the power switch, placed the head to the metal, started the arc, felt the air kick and then a second hard kick (the current being drawn into play). Then BAM, it was slicing through quarter inch steel like a hot knife through butter.

How sweet it sounded! I felt the amazement of completing a project that I just couldn’t let go of.

So, take your time, enjoy and be safe.

The Plasaman

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YOU ROCK! (Or cut )with style! This is great, gotta a extra one of you? Anyway thanks for this inspiration, I'm not smart enough to create this, but I love that other hard working people are!

Upaa271 month ago

Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't something like this work? T1-3 are microwave oven transformers. If we wind these for 200v each, the rectification should push the voltage to almost 300v to charge the caps. C2 dumps through T4 to ignite plasma and C1 can then discharge through the plasma. I would imagine with 3000uf, it should maintain continuos discharge with 15 amps even if only 60hz. I used 3 ac mains so that no breakers blow. The air flow and fan could be easily incorporated into the schematic I just didn't find any symbols for them.

What do you guys think?

Upaa27 Upaa271 month ago

Sorry I mean to say the total voltage output is 200v from the transformers not 200v each. I'm really tired right now :O

astral_mage10 months ago

this pic should've been fist page not third or forth in line.

After all of this man's hard work, that's what you get out of this? Please, for your own sake, don't try building this lmao
This is so helpful, Sir, thank you for sharing your hard earned knowledge. My buddy and I are in the collecting parts phase, and this is already very helpful. Thanks again!

PS: I'm sure I'll be back with questions at some point, hope you don't mind!
great job,, where can i salvage the high voltage bridge rectifier. i can't seem to find anything that uses one that can handle this much voltage,,other than just buying a new one, thx
Plasanator (author)  dthompson324 months ago

eBay has them for about 16 bucks.

Plasanator (author)  dthompson321 year ago
(removed by author or community request)
Plasanator (author)  Plasanator4 months ago


This is link on eBay where I bought some rectifiers.

These work great and will handle all your power needs.


Great project. I am in the works of constructing my own working from your design. I have two questions. Is the isolation transformer necessary? Also, what are you using for your compressed air source? Just an air compressor? Thanks in advance!

Plasanator (author)  experimenter4life4 months ago
I don't use one since all is shut down by gun trigger never had a problem or safety issue.
I just use a regular air compressor bigger the better if you have a lot of cutting to do air last longer and I use a 50 gallon hot water tank made in to an air tank secondary.

Great thanks. Sorry I have one more question I forgot to ask. When you turn the unit on, does it blow the breaker while the capacitors are charging up? Seems like they would pull a looot of current to charge being so big and all. If so how do you work around that problem?

Plasanator (author)  experimenter4life4 months ago

I have never had that problem.

Make sure you have a 30 amp breaker for 120 and at least a 50 amp for 220 use.

Also make sure the 120 power that comes out of your relays is not connected to the other side of ac connection.

Follow the yellow that goes to the two joined relays and comes out blue to high voltage set up and to air solenoid .

PetrieJ4 months ago

Is is possible to make a 1A plasma cutter? I need to cut very thin pieces of 304, but because of the geometry and composition of the parts I am currently stuck chemically etching the material away.

Plasanator (author)  PetrieJ4 months ago
I wouldn't think so and plasma cutting would leave spray all over pcb board.
I recommend using A laser or Drexel tool.
V4V4 months ago

i cant understand why you connect the caps at this strange way. after the bridge you have a plus and a minus full rectified source. so the caps should take this dc voltage.
why do you connect the caps back to the AC line?

Plasanator (author)  V4V4 months ago
It forms a voltage doubler circuit.
rodalino4 months ago

Can this cut aluminum and stainless sheets?

Plasanator (author)  rodalino4 months ago
Yes it can and does very well.
swampfox4405 months ago

What is the water heater element for ? Don't see it anywhere in these pictures.

Plasanator (author) 8 months ago

Hey all just solder a wire to the hv coil instead of zip tying it and cover solder with silicone of any kind.

wkdavistx10 months ago
If i am putting 240v to the contactor does that mean I'm putting 240v to the air solenoid? I am also reading 650v on the dc side of the rectifier. I am replacing both of these parts (fried the 110v solenoid).
Thank you.
Plasanator (author)  wkdavistx8 months ago

No then you have it hooked up wrong.

The air solenoid goes before the contactor on the input side through a relay.

pgladek2 years ago
Sorry, I also forgot to might be hard to find a ford / chevy ignition coil out here, so is there anything specific I should look for when I pick one out, or any minimum specs needed? Also, is there any purpose to mounting the stud on the ignition coil, other than as a place to attach the connections? And what does the water heater element specifically do?

its a dump load. instead of a large amount of copper or aluminum. he went with that tho it needs a bigger heat sink tho.

Plasanator (author)  pgladek2 years ago
here are some picures of one I done a few months ago.
Plasanator (author)  pgladek2 years ago
Yes the studd is just for mounting purposes but instead go ahead and solder a lead to coil and fill around it with silicone for protection.
I do that now for all my cutters.
The element is your load resister and is what draws and dictates the amount of current used.
Two in parallel will draw more current for cutting thicker material.
My new unit I used some square tubing from treadmill and a blower also from a microwave to cool coils down to last longer.
wkdavistx11 months ago

If you were building one that was 40A, what would you use to control the output amperage while cutting? I was thinking about a solid state voltage regulator like this one:




Plasanator (author)  wkdavistx11 months ago

I don't build them that big so I can't say, sorry.

pclifford11 months ago

(Please correct me if im wrong)

i was wondering if your build is using a frequency from your instructions i dont see anything that would generate a frequency other than starting arc. the reason im asking is i have a wire feed welder that im going to add the plasma cutting feature to it and use both welder and cutter. the welder is set up to use ac only witch i can convert to dc by using your instruction and the add a separate hook up for the plasma cutter but in order to for the welder to work it needs to have some sort of freq..

From my under standing a plasma cutter operates at 10khz or more how is yours working with converting it to dc it should be a pulsing dc at 60 HZ + or - and you add the CAPS in there witch would add a smoothing affect to the frequencies and bring it down to almost nothing.

Thank you

Plasanator (author)  pclifford11 months ago

no just 60 hz

wkdavistx1 year ago
Thanks for all the time and effort put into this. Great job!
Any thoughts on using a 208V/208V transformer from a UPS system and 2 heating elements? I figure this will give me 24A at 208V at the torch and may be able to cut 1/2" steel.
Plasanator (author)  wkdavistx12 months ago

It will work fine if around 5kva but 3/8 inch will be most your gonna cut through.

Plasanator (author)  wkdavistx1 year ago
Yep that's right 208v is just fine.

So I was able to procure a 5kva transformer (240 primary - 240/120 secondary). If I run 240 to the contactor what happens to the capacitors when connected to double the voltage? Are 350v capacitors ok? What other changes should I make besides using 2 heating elements?

Thanks again!

DanW131 year ago

Joe I have to ask a few question, one is about those Heating elements which you say are just current resistors….Do these ever get hot to where a fan may/might be needed to keep them cooled ? The other is about the Capacitors you show in your phots that are Blue in color but I don't recall seeing any specs as to the size required for the plasma cutter, if you don't mind can you give me the specs on what the min/Max sizes are for those 2 Capacitors please ? Thank's, I hope to have one build by end of this month if all goes well with rounding up parts :)

Plasanator (author)  DanW1312 months ago

Hey Dan yes they will so I mounted my new ones in a steel tube from a tread mill and put a blower from a microwave on it to cool them down.

1800 microfarads at 350 volts minumum the lager the better.

mattc1721 year ago
what type of equipment would you find the 2 cap in
Plasanator (author)  mattc1721 year ago
the big caps are on ebay many to look at around 25 to 50 bucks
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